Sunday, April 15, 2007

Notes from GDC

Most of my notes that are relevant to teaching game design came from the IGDA Educational SIG during the Monday and Tuesday before the main conference. However, there were occasional sessions where I picked up something for this blog during GDC proper. Here are my notes:

From the Academic Group Gathering:

  • Note that GDC 2008 is in February. Students working on projects for the IGF this year will have less time to submit.
  • There is still interest in 24/7 game development with one team in America, one in Europe and one in Asia. Groups of students who take a quarter/semester hiatus to participate in this project is the most likely way it could happen. Personally, I think the game industry would be very interested in seeing if this works. The results of such an experiment could be used to significantly reduce time to market (with slightly greater cost).
  • I doubt anyone in the industry would be willing to stake their current project on this, so if anyone tries it should be college students. Any takers?
  • As an educator, talk with companies that give tests when hiring. They won’t give you their test, of course… but you can ask for a sample test that gives the general kinds of things they’re looking for. Collect enough of these from different sources and you can build a pretty solid picture of what the industry wants from your students.

From the Quality of Life roundtable:

  • Some people are willing to make sacrifices (including their own QoL) to get a job in the game industry. Most of these people are recent college graduates.
  • Problem: everyone who makes these sacrifices becomes part of the problem for everyone in the industry.
  • Universities: make sure that your top graduating talent goes to game studios with good business practices, regarding QoL. Do not reward abusive studios with good talent; if the really bad places find they can only hire mediocre talent, it will make that business model much harder.

By the way, if anyone is interested in my notes from the other sessions that have nothing to do with this blog, email me (ai864 at yahoo dot com) and I'll send it to you.

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